India used to really struggle for quick bowlers. These days they seem to have a new Next Big Thing just about every week.
We can think of six young, decent, Indian quick bowlers from a standing start and with only three brews powering our tiny little brain cells. We’ve assumed Zaheer Khan’s a definite in the Indian team now and slightly too old to be a Next Big Thing. All the following are 26 or under:
Largely injured, but we always thought he was pretty good. Plus, for some unknown reason, his seemingly quite complicated first name landed itself in our cerebellum first time. Our pride in that perhaps highlights how little else we have to be proud of.
Would be in our Indian team regardless of form. Early on he took wickets for fun. After a bit he seemed to lose pace and confidence and no longer looked a worthy opening bowler, but by this point his batting had really taken off.
We’d have still picked him as an all-rounder and fifth bowler. India don’t like having five bowlers though. People actually wrote him off completely during his bowling lull. Ludicrous. He only turned 23 a month ago.
R P Singh
Excellent swing bowler. Excellent side-parting.
Actually quite a good bowler when he’s not being a complete dick. The theory that he’s a standard-bearer for the new, vibrant, go-getting, in-your-face India seems predicated on the false notion that all the other Test-playing nations haven’t been terrified by India for as long as anyone can remember. Everyone’s still terrified – particularly of the nutter.
Quick and takes wickets. You’d have big plans for him unless you were an Indian selector.
Took five wickets in his second Test (for 118). Teeteringly tall and apparently still growing. He’s only 19, but already he’s being identified as a danger for the Aussies on their hard decks.
So what’s the problem?
Well let’s add another name to that list: Pankaj Singh has been called up for the tour of Australia. Munaf Patel’s not been selected – seemingly for fitness reasons, but he only had a mild back sprain and he’s playing again now. Sreesanth’s out as well. He was advised to have surgery on his shoulder injury before the second Test against Pakistan, but he went through a fitness test for that match anyway.
It seems like any chance they get, India’s selectors will blood another youngster – Pankaj Singh being the latest. That’s all well-and-good when they keep making an impact, but sooner or later somebody’s going to have to narrow the field down.
There’s Test experience available, but these bowlers are only getting very meagre portions each.
We’ve always thought that having a few Tests behind you would help steady your nerves in big matches and create a more reliable cricketer.
The situation’s even more ridiculous when you consider that the middle-order batting’s been a closed shop for years.